Finals don’t signify the end of the year for some Gophers

Minnesota will travel to the NCAA track regionals with 37 individual qualifiers.

Brian Deutsch

A lot has happened in the world of Minnesota athletics since the last time the Daily went to press. Here’s a look at some of the biggest stories from the past two weeks.

Football news

Sophomore quarterback Adam Weber has had Minnesota coach Tim Brewster in his corner for some time, and now it appears the rest of the Gophers roster is behind him too.

Weber and senior linebacker Steve Davis, senior defensive end Willie VanDeSteeg and junior wideout Eric Decker were named next season’s captains after a vote by the team.

“Leadership is extremely important and great teams have great leaders,” Brewster said. “As we enter our summer conditioning program, the leadership that we receive from these four men will be critical. I believe each of them has the qualities necessary to be outstanding leaders.”

Brewster also announced that defensive line coach Tim Cross has been promoted to associate head coach.

Rowing regionals

The Gophers women’s rowing team closed out this year’s campaign with a ninth overall finish at the Aramark South/Central Sprints last week in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Michigan State, which captured the Big Ten title earlier this month, took first place in the central regionals with 371 total points – 107 points ahead of Minnesota.

The Gophers Varsity Four boat was Minnesota’s only crew that reached the Grand Finals, posting a fourth-place finish with a time of 7:31.19.

Hockey news

Next season is already taking shape for the Gophers men’s hockey team. The team’s schedule was recently released and, as is the case nearly every year, Minnesota will see an abundance of stiff competition – and not all of it will be from Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams.

The Gophers will meet up with three conference champions over the course of next year, including WCHA defending champ Colorado College. Hockey East’s New Hampshire and CCHA champion Michigan are the remaining two.

The Gophers and Mariucci Arena will also host an NCAA Regional, while the Frozen Four will be held in Washington D.C.

Other hockey news: Forward Ryan Stoa was named team captain for next season. Stoa was predicted to be an offensive weapon for Minnesota last year until a knee injury during the team’s opening weekend sidelined him for the entire season.

Big Ten track results

While neither the men’s nor women’s track and field teams could lock down a team title at the Big Ten Championships last week, both had multiple individual champions.

For the women’s program, a third-place finish behind Penn State and Michigan was highlighted by a pair of individual titles for junior Liz Roehrig and Heather Dorniden.

Roehrig set a school record and captured her second conference championship in the heptathlon with 5,855 points while Dorniden’s mark of 2:06.44 was tops in the 800 meter – both were named All-Big Ten First Team.

“Penn State came up big in some events and had the overall depth to take the team title. We weren’t able to match it,” coach Matt Bingle said. “Still, we had some outstanding individual efforts this weekend. It’s nice to see Heather (Dorniden) and Liz (Roehrig) win individual titles since they are so unselfish at this meet, thinking only of the team first.”

The men’s team finished the conference competition in fifth place and had individual winners of its own.

Sophomore Chris Rombough started Minnesota off right on the first day by winning the 10,000-meter run title before junior Ibrahim Kabia took home the crown in the 100 meter dash, senior Hans Storvick never gave up the lead in the 809-meter run and freshman Hassan Mead easily won the 5,000-meter relay.

All four were named to the All-Big Ten First Team.

“Our program is used to high team finishes but I was extremely proud to see four of our young men win Big Ten titles,” coach Phil Lundin, who will leave for St. Olaf after this season, said. “This whole team is returning next year and I expect to see more golden performances from them in the future.”